The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), and the National Institute on Aging (NIA) invite grant applications for research on the neurobiological and cerebrovascular mechanisms through which the neuroprotective blood-brain and blood-CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) barriers function in the healthy and diseased brain.*
A major challenge for treatment of most brain disorders is overcoming the difficulty of delivering therapeutic agents to specific regions of the brain. In its neuroprotective role, the blood-brain barrier (BBB) functions to hinder the delivery of many potentially important diagnostic and therapeutic agents to the brain. Therapeutic molecules and genes that might otherwise be effective in diagnosis and therapy do not cross the BBB in adequate amounts.
Potential areas of research interest include studies to: develop and characterize in vivo and in vitro models that reflect the unique features of the BBB as translational models of neurological disease; examine the genes and proteins that are uniquely expressed by the intact BBB and mechanisms by which brain cells regulate endothelial cell gene expression; explore the genesis and regulation of the BBB, its stem cell origins, and remodeling of the diseased/damaged/aged brain microvasculature; identify signal transduction pathways of brain capillary endothelial transcytosis and tight junction regulation under normal and disease conditions; characterize brain endothelial tight junction proteins in normal and disease states; investigate the various enzymatic barrier mechanisms; develop neuroimaging tools to identify changes in BBB permeability in vivo; and examine the plasticity of the blood-brain and blood-CSF interfaces throughout the lifespan.
For more information, potential applicants should contact Dr. Thomas Jacobs, Program Director, Neural Environment Cluster, NINDS, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 2112, Bethesda, MD 20892; telephone: 301-496-1431; fax: 301-480-2424; e-mail: email@example.com.
*For a more detailed description of this program announcement, please visit the NIH web site at: http://grants2.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAS-03-165.html.